Whoops, Gabriel Medina *Actually* Just Won The Freshwater Pro!
But Filipe won our hearts with his carefree shuvit to switch stance tube!
Ok, Gabriel Medina just actually won the Surf Ranch Pro with a score of 18.86.
Apologies if the previous article was confusing. Turns out wavepool comps aren’t quite as predictable as we’d expected. Though, to be fair, Gabriel was too obvious a winner to include in a satirical piece.
Unlike the rest of the event, the final was actually quite entertaining. Julian landed a silky varial; Owen linked two stellar waves for high eights; Yago had a slippery foamball ride; Medina went Terminator mode.
Lakey and Carissa even stuck little airs! (Lakey won the women’s, btw. Kudos, gal!)
However, the final’s seminal moment came on Filipe Toledo’s final left. Needing an 8.23 to overtake Medina (who is undefeated in Lemoore), Filipe looked more relaxed than a sloth in a hammock, rhythmically linking turns across the crumbling wall until a worthy section presented itself, allowing Fil to spin a nimble rev and return straight back to the chopping block.
Then, about two-thirds of the way through his final ride, Filipe, who needed the eight to retain his world number one position, was in a position to secure the required score with one final explosive maneuver. Instead, he went the exact opposite direction, popping a mid-face shuv-it and riding out switch into the end section tube, which engulfed him without release.
It was fun. It was exciting. It was competitively inept but that’s maybe what I loved most. Filipe’s decision to perform a little party trick in such a pivotal moment gave me so much hope for the future of wavepool surfing, and even just professional surfing in general. I cannot overstate how important this ride was to Filipe’s season, yet he didn’t seem bothered by this fact in the slightest.
He just reacted to a whim—and isn’t that what surfing’s all about?
Filipe lost the final and the yellow jersey, but he won a new soft spot in my heart.
Now I’ll be passing the baton over to our Sunday extraordinaire to fill in the minutiae of the event. Although I doubt whether he’s actually watched a heat.
Well, thank you Michael, I have in fact only watched parts on my phone, but there is the heat analyser which I’m quite familiar with.
Let’s start off by saying that Mike was wrong. The wavepool event isn’t predictable. Boring, dry, repetitive all up until the finals maybe, but it certainly isn’t predictable. Out of the myriad predictions made by Michael over the last three days the only one he got correct was the score of the event’s first wave.
He was however right in stating that they should just scrap the first two days and take us straight to the final. Let’s be honest, nobody wants to see a cluster of backhand snaps in the pool, no one really wants to see the barrel being milked either. After the second ever CT event in Lemoore, we know that the likes of Filipe, Gabriel, Yago, and Julian are those who will most entertain us in the pond.
The men who came first and second, Gabs and Filipe, were really the only two surfers who were ever going to win the event. From a pure entertainment perspective I don’t mind the pool, I just know now not to bother with the first two days and just tune in when those aforementioned surfers have already ‘built their house’.
Anyway, here’s what happened on finals day.
Medina won and jumped back into the golden jersey
Heading into the Freshwater Pro Medina was in fourth place and on a single event win, now, he’s back into first place—with Filipe 1,000 points behind—heading into the European leg which Medina is historically dominant at. He dominated in the pool today and we dare say will be wrapping his hands around a third World Title at Pipe this December, that is if he doesn’t win both France and Portugal and finish the year before the North Shore finale.
Today however, Medina kicked off the finals with a 9.93, essentially putting everyone to the sword except Filipe. Owen had a lethal backhand whack that peaked on finals day but couldn’t scrape into the 9’s, Julian showed moment of beauty inching into the 9’s early in the outing but never found a follow up, goofies Yago and Ace had a crack but came up short, and I haven’t watched any of Griffin’s waves because the online replay stopped working but he got a couple of 8’s.
Gabriel did a kerrupt flip—which was kinda just an alley oop with a grab—and never really looked like losing.
If you want a better account DM @ashtonsealegs on Instagram because he’s actually there.
Lakey Peterson moves into second in the rankings with a win fuelled by God
I wasn’t religious until I realised God delivered the win for Lakey today, not her above-average talent on a surfboard. “I just can’t believe it, I feel like God was just with me on that one and I gave it everything I had,” Lakey said after winning the final. Actually Lakey just surfed the wave well and deserved the win, but it made me wonder how God chooses their (don’t want to assume God’s gender, you know) winners when two zealots are pitted against one another? Like why does God love Gabi so much dishing up title after title while stitching poor Filipe with a back injury mid-year, it’s simply not fair.
Anyway, back to the surfing.
Unlike the men’s, theres only four women in the final, these been Johanne Defay, Carissa Moore, and Caroline Marks—who will no doubt win a title next year, or maybe the one after that. Lakey won with a 9.3 and 8.7 which were both filled with turns and tubes, whereas the other surfers also did turns and tubes, but they just weren’t quite as good so they didn’t get higher scores. Lakey also threw a textbook club sandwich on her highest score putting her a league above the others who mostly opted for on-wave surfing.
That’s kind of all there is to say about it really. I was planning on writing more but the incoming 2-3 minute highlight clip will give you all you need to see. Just hold out till France and hope we get to see some barrels that, dare I say it, are a little less perfect and not always make-able.
PS, in the post-final interview, Fil talked about the back issue that caused him to pull out of the ISA World Games finals day. He said that it was still ongoing and he’s hoping that he’ll be able to compete (at 100% or otherwise) in the European leg. With less than a thousand points between himself and the new world leader (Medina, who’s won two of the last three events and has a stellar history in both Europe and Hawaii), we dearly hope that Fil will be able to compete for the Title.
Because if he can’t, who will?
PPS, the issue of wavepool boredom (which I tackled firmly this morning) is so easily solvable. Just trim the fat and give us the best eight guys. Today was radical!
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